Improvements To DMCA system

As a Roblox developer, it is currently too hard to remove old assets/items I uploaded that might be subject to Copyrighted Material

If Roblox is able to address this issue, it would improve my development experience because this would Prevent a LOT of DMCA Issues currently happening on the platform.

Right now, Roblox suffers from a LOT of issues related to DMCA System, which can sometimes gets abused, or if used by a company, can falsely Flag items for using names such as “Barbie, Jackson, Jordan” or any other names which are also related to celebrities, pop stars, &/or brands.

Because these brands don’t care about what the virtual item actually is, they will most likely use an automated system to send out DMCAs and Flag items for copyright strikes.

I’ve been emailing the copyright agent to help me with removals for weeks, even months at this point, and I still couldn’t get at least one item removed.

Over the past few weeks, people kept getting their Roblox accounts TERMINATED because of 2D & 3D avatar items they uploaded years ago, OR had no idea could even be Striked.

A Personal example I had, is a piece of hair called “Jackson” which got flagged by Michael Jackson’s Trademark owners, because of the name including “Jackson”. (still working with support & the brand on having this solved)

Another example, would be Skibidi Toilet, which recently started to DMCA strike Roblox developers & Creators, for uploading Skibidi toilet content.
For those unfamiliar, this first started as a meme on the internet, and later became something more than just a meme, however a LOT of creators started to make content based of this before it was even trademarked, and suddenly they wake up with DMCA strikes, because of it. Lot’s of Roblox developers were panicked, and got to their final strike because of this.

A few improvements I have thought of, and will mention, are the following: The ability to delete items manually, Allowing more options to people to get rid of DMCA strikes even if they can’t fight the DMCA, DMCA strikes & Account access bans being separate.

Starting with the ability to manually delete items:

  • The users should have an option to fully delete their catalog avatar items (2D & 3D UGC Accessories, bodies and clothing), if they pay the stocks that the item produced. (eg: earnt 100k Robux, pays 100k Robux to delete)
  • User needs to have email verification, 2-step & pin turned on to make sure the creator in order to prevent 3rd party/intruders on the account from deleting items if the user got compromised
  • The deleting process, would be Similar to DevEx, to make sure the user isn’t a 3rd Party intruder on the account. User sends the information & request to delete the item & if the user has enough Robux balance, they will be getting an approved email (or notification on the creator page) that they’re eligible for deleting the item. If not, they would get rejected.
  • Item deletion process would take 24 hours after the user got approved, accepted the ToS, and clicked the Delete Button. This would also give the user an option to cancel the deletion within 24hrs, in case they change their mind.

More options to get rid of DMCA strikes:

  • If the person that got DMCA’d knows their can’t be appealed, because at the time they Uploaded it, the current item had no copyright, and later got trademarked, they should have the option to remove the strike off their account.
  • They could have to attend to a Roblox course (probably in later future) about ToS, Copyright & other behavior on Roblox related questions (and even internet related).
  • DMCAs could automatically expire after 1-4 Months, depending on which offense the user is on (eg: Strike 1: 1 month, Strike 2: 3 months, Strike 3: Monetization removed for 6 months, And final, Monetization removed from the account)
  • If a game has been striked, the developers of the game have 1 week to remove the content before the game will be closed down/demonetized (maybe punish the game by removing it’s monetization for a short period of time, depending on the strike).

DMCA strikes & Account access/bans being separate:

  • If DMCA strikes would be separate from account bans, they would act as ONLY a warning & an item deletion.
  • This would prevent people that don’t care about monetizing their platform from getting their account banned over stuff they uploaded months, even years (or decades) ago, which they forgot about.
  • If somebody, like a kid who doesn’t know or can’t understand copyright rules, gets their “Spongebob pants” deleted, they wouldn’t have to worry about their account getting banned, or terminated.
  • This would be a healthier environment for users that don’t care about monetizing aspect of Roblox, and would rather enjoy playing games, than creating clothing, accessories & games.

Now, what other improvements/changes could be done to the copyright & how moderation for it works?

  • Every DMCA strike, would be a warning, to let the user know they broke the rules, or did something bad, without having their access taken away from their account.
  • Everybody would have a 1 week suspension from uploading/publishing avatar items, decals, audios and/or other types of assets if they got a DMCA strike
  • The user would be suspended from DevEx-ing robux for a week (or permanent suspension from DeVex-ing if their account got their final strike before the others expired)
  • First ever DMCA/Strike, would be like a permanent mark on their account (eg: after first ever strike, the 3-Strikes rule is applied)
  • If the user got their final strike, they will be prohibited from: Publishing assets, Experiences, DevEx-ing robux, selling USD/Real Currency assets (such as subscriptions)
  • All their paid items would go off sale (similar to UGC perms being taken away from UGC creators, but instead, would be ANY type of asset)
  • They can only earn robux from trades, selling the limited items they invested
  • They can only use robux on Catalog items, Gamepasses, Dev Products & Other paid assets (No way of using the robux outside of roblox)
  • User can’t be paid from Groups funds unless they are the owner of the group (would prevent people from Uploading copyrighted content into a group & risk their account, while the group still generates income)
  • If a user uploaded a clothing item/game (or created any asset) as part of a group, but they left the group, their shouldn’t get striked for their asset, group owner should instead.

Why would this improve Roblox?

  • If a child unfamiliar with Copyright & Legal trademarks uploads stuff on Roblox that is owned by a brand/company gets DMCA striked, they would still be able to play their favorite experiences, without waking up to a termination and then having no chance of getting their progress back
  • People pay a LOT of money collecting toy codes & Spend a LOT of time collecting event items, and they could have all of this taken away in 1 second, if a brand strikes down their item
  • There would be less false/unfair terminations of accounts that respect ALL rules of Roblox but uploaded an unfortunate asset that looked similar to a branded/trademarked design
  • This would prevent & discourage people from false DMCA striking other creators, for just uploading SIMILAR items with no relevance to each other (eg: If creator A uploads some black & green headphones, they can DMCA creator B for uploading a very similar item, even if creator B had no idea of creator A’s item, and their design is also different)
  • A lot of talented creators wouldn’t lose their Roblox access because of a few accidental & unfortunate item design choices.

With all of this said, I would like to know the opinion of other creators, as well as seeing at least more than half, if not all, features coming into the near future. Right now it’s a pain to deal with item deletion & DMCA strikes issues, and will become an even bigger issue once Roblox decides to open up the avatar items creation in soon 2024, so I believe this change would be better for & benefit both Roblox & Creators.

40 Likes

I agree that it needs some improvement. although it hasn’t personally affected me, I have noticed how it has impacted other developers. I have seen entire games get taken down because of one minor detail which sure it is the developer’s fault for including it, but sometimes things like that are unintentional. I think a good approach would be to inform the creator so they have a chance to take it down entirely or modify it. I only think that stuff should be insta terminated if it is obvious that they are doing it on purpose for profit such as those pokemon brick bronze reuploads that somehow still are on the platform

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I hella agree with this, I have soooooo many copyrighted assets from 5 years ago and are yet to be removed, I’ve been contacting roblox consistently for the past 2 weeks and I haven’t had a proper response to it.

I first emailed copyright_agent@roblox.com regarding this and this is what they’ve stated:

Thank you for reaching out to us regarding your desire to enroll in our remediation program. As noted in the private message sent to you on April 26, 2023, all requests to enroll must occur within 10 days of the message being sent. Unfortunately, as you have contacted us outside of the 10-day window, we will not be able to enroll you in this program.
 
Please take care to review the private message for information on how to help Roblox and its community respect the intellectual property rights of others, and please take time to review all content previously uploaded to your account to remove any content which you may not have the rights to use, as failure to do so may result in additional strikes against your account.
 
We appreciate your understanding.
 
However, Your asset removal request has been forwarded to a specialist who will be able to assist you further.

I wasn’t really too educated on the remediation program and had no clue about it, meaning that I could never get into it(I’m on my final strike and I haven’t gotten a strike in months)

The removal request was forwarded but I never received a follow-up.

I’m just a sitting duck waiting until my account gets terminated, makes me demotivated to play Roblox since I know I’m just gonna get banned :skull_and_crossbones:

Anyways, hopefully a member of staff reads this post and reads this reply

I totally agree with this and especially with children, they don’t understand copyright and just wanna make some Robux, sure you could argue that they agree and acknowledge to the Roblox TOS upon signing up to the platform but there was a lawsuit stating that when you sign-up to this platform the “TOS and Privacy Policy” text is quite small and is above a green button, defeating this argument.

I might be wrong but there’s also GDPR with the whole “Right to be Forgotten” so that could play a part(feel free to reply stating why I’m wrong) and that online assets that you as the user have created and/or uploaded online, should be able to be deleted.

TLDR: I agree with this, Roblox should step their game up if they wanna retain players lol.

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Roblox honors this request for citizens in countries where GDPR applies, but will erase your entire account. You can use Archiving though, but the asset will remain saved.

Archiving should be enough to get rid of infringing content though. It’ll be no longer accessible and it’s easier to defend to Roblox that you’ve removed the content willingly.


You mention a lot of ideas in a wall of text, but I think the core is to close down the creator profile instead of the full Roblox account.

This would still give confidence to copyright owners that repeated offenders are taken care of, and gives players still access to their games, items and Robux.

3 Likes

That would honestly be the whole point of making the copyright strikes and account bans different. One could get up to 3 strikes and get their monetization or creator profile banned or restricted, but still allow them to use their account for experiences, & spending robux. Their only source of income would also be restricted to sales from selling limiteds they bought, trades or buying robux with their credit card.

all of the other ideas could be improvements that would not only help people who uploaded copyrighted stuff in the past, but also be allowed to remove items they mistakenly uploaded on the catalog. (sounds a bit stupid, but those outside the UGC program, didn’t really deal with the bad uploading system which is broken, and selecting to upload an item under a group by mistake, will cause the upload to happen under that group even if you change the group/user you want the item to be uploaded under, so you basically need to restart the whole uploading process.)

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Hey everyone, as a two-time Roblox Intern, I recently had my account terminated due to two DMCA strikes for Yves Saint Laurent shirts. These strikes were related to a group I hadn’t owned for years, so I couldn’t remove the shirts. Despite explaining this in my appeal, I received the same automated response each time. Fortunately, I had some administrative friends who helped me get my account back after the first strike. However, weeks later, the same issue occurred with the same group, leading to another termination. Despite seeking help again, my appeal was rejected because I had already been given a second chance. The shirts in question were over 3-4 years old, and I had forgotten they even existed until my account was suddenly gone one morning. Losing access to my account meant losing valuable items like my intern domino crown, models dating back to 2017, and my group appearance in the Roblox Intern official group, among other things like headless and countless in game dev products/gamepasses.

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Did you provide a whole list of avatar items to the Roblox Copyright Agent for them to archive, or delete? They do provide a message saying “Since you list these items you won’t receive a strike or moderation.”

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I never seen anything like that unfortunately. I thought I was free in the clear when I got unbanned until my account was gone again. They never said that you could send a list of assets in the initial termination or appeal. I personally had to direct message an administrator to get my account back otherwise my account would’ve stayed banned. I never got a follow up email after the unban. Nothing with a suggestion to send a remove list or anything like that. Also I never expected any of this, I logged on one day and my account was gone so I couldn’t have done it before.

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Well, when one emails the copyright agent any items that anyone would like deleted/archived for copyright purposes, they usually reply with that promise to not strike your account for those items.

However, evidence suggests its a total lie, because people have sent lists of items to the copyright agent to be deleted many years and nothing has happened as of yet. The major fear is that even the promise to not either strike or moderate the account is also a total lie.

Edit: Another thing I find interesting is that the people at Roblox never told you about this since you were an intern.

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There was a point in Roblox where a ton of clothing designers and developers would use any brand name on their clothing without penalty. I think a couple years recently, Roblox has taken more control on the copyright and it resulted in a bunch of warnings and bans from very old assets that were once overlooked and forgotten. I suggest they just remove the asset(s) as soon as they get a copyright notice and notify the creator the reason why and what asset was removed. Especially if its an older asset. Most of the supervisors in the internship were part of DevOps so their control over this subject is slim to none I believe.

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Yes, in fact the Copyright Agent also promises the assets will be removed within 30 days after you email them. Yet, nothing happens. Nothing. At all.

The copyright agent doesn’t differentiate between assets whether it be Avatar items or Decals or anything else even after asking them. They just say “oh, we’re sorry this process is taking a long time we aim to complete your request at the earliest”

There’s a just a massive list of broken promises.
“We aim to complete your request in 30 days” - Lie.
“You will not receive moderation or a strike as a result of this request” - Possible lie.

Even if you ask Roblox Support the same question it takes them forever to directly address the problem only for them to say “Sorry, we can’t help you”.

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that sucks. Hopefully you will be able to talk to a staff member and have that fixed. Your ban is a pure example as of why roblox SHOULD NOT ban users for dmcas, but just take away monetization options temporary. Roblox SHOULD fix their issues with dmca, and unban everybody that has been banned for dmcas. They should bring back everybody that lost their access cause of that, and also find a better copyright strike system, that doesn’t remove people’s access from playing experiences/accessing their avatar, trading, etc. I’m sorry about the issue you faced, but I really suggest trying to contact a staff member if possible, and maybe share this post with other people that faced issues like this, in hopes of having them try to contact copyright agent to delete stuff before it’s too late.

Roblox should re-work everything related to copyrighted content & DMCA system honestly, there’s a lot of people getting their accounts terminated for stuff they uploaded decades ago and we all know that. Really sucks that after months of people talking about it, Roblox is unable to come with a better solution for all of this. We had people on twitter complain about it, people getting unterminated because of it (of course with help of others that have connections with Roblox staff), we had sharkblox make videos on it, there’s clearly a problem Roblox needs to fix here. The problem with copyright agent, is that the system is very slow, that’s why Roblox should give us a way to delete items we uploaded ourselves, and this is also why people shouldn’t be facing any issues, if the item was uploaded under a group they aren’t in anymore

I’ve seen more than 20 people complain about it on twitter, and even big youtubers talk about it… so I guess it’s time Roblox improves that. I hope this year will bring new & better features, but also changes, such as a better dmca system

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To expand on this: Users shouldn’t have to worry about getting strikes for things they’ve been previously warned about.

For clarification, clothing items (t-shirts, shirts, pants) cannot under any circumstances be archived or deleted (not even asking support will do this, source: asked support to do it and they never did) so how about if a user gets a warning/strike, any item uploaded before the warning/strike happened should fall under some sort of safeguard as the user has already been alerted that it’s not ok to upload stuff that could get DMCA’d

So in practice, if a user gets a warning, they’ll know not to do it again, but won’t receive further punishment on previous uploads as they cannot remove those assets by any means, but if a user does get a claim for anything uploaded after the date of the strike, it’s fair game as they had their warning previously and they proceeded to repeat that behavior anyway.

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I think strikes shouldn’t scare all users honestly, they should make it only scary for people that monetize copyrighted stuff, not those that make them for fun.

another idea i thought of, was making people complete an agreement before allowing them to devex and other stuff, which would include all rules with copyright.

If people don’t sign this, they could still sell stuff on the market, but make 0 profit

We should be getting an update that allows for privacy “All Asset Types”, as was announced by Roblox last year as part of the 2023 - 2024 creator road map, but Roblox hasn’t defined what “All Asset Types” even means nor when this would be fully implemented, just sometime in 2024. All this anticipation just heightens the sense of urgency.

Creator Road Map Pt. 4 of 4

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I hope that will come, and will include accessories/avatar items, because right now, it’s literally impossible to avoid being dmca striked if you uploaded 2d clothing with copyrighted material and you risk having your account deleted because of something you did a decade ago, as a kid, when roblox didn’t really do so much about copyright, and you didn’t know about the copyright laws.

Wishing the best for 2024 updates. I know roblox won’t disappoint us

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Well, when it comes to this topic of reforming the DMCA system on Roblox and/or changes to classic Avatar Clothing items, I am very pessimistic unless Roblox is continuously reminded and the issue constantly pressed until changes are made. Roblox had since 2008 to establish some kind of system for classic avatar items to be deleted/archived and instead allowed the chaos around classic avatar items to fester until it became untenable until they had to retrofit the current DMCA system.

Same here too I uploaded lots of random crap when I was like 12 or something. You know it’s really bad when the system bans people who are super high profile or used to work for Roblox. Like Roblox tells us to email their “Copyright agent” to remove the stuff. Can someone sue them for that since they do nothing. The two copyright agents are the only roblox support who actually show their real (Indian) names too, which tells me something is off about them and the rest of the Indian/bot moderation team.

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i have resorted to legal action against the copyright companies